VoIP services in Britain must offer emergency calls

26 July 2007

Watchdog group says voice-over-internet providers should provide 999 emergency service, just as traditional telecoms do.

Voice over IP phone services must allow users to make 999 emergency
calls, under proposals published by communications watchdog Ofcom.

VoIP services are increasingly adopting the look and feel of
traditional telephones, which increases the risk of confusion as to
whether or not users have access to 999, said Ofcom. This means any
VoIP service allowing users to make calls to ordinary phone numbers
must also offer access to the emergency number by early 2008.

Research by the communications watchdog has revealed that 78 per
cent of VoIP users who cannot use their service to call 999 either
thought they could, or did not know whether they could. 

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